On the Road

Save the Planet, Save Money Too

On-board climate control may become a necessity if 5-minute idle timers take hold. Photo by Jim Park

August 18, 2011

Hard-wired five-minute idle timers will probably begin appearing on trucks in 2014. You'll have two choices come winter: freeze your hiney off, or get an APU. This week we provide a list of idle-cost calculators so you can start budgeting for the new EPA rules

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:08 PM | » Comments(0)

Truck Crash Lawyers Repurpose Roadcheck Stats

Lawyers twist statistics to attack "fatigued drivers."

August 9, 2011

The headline reads "Texas Trucking Accident Attorney Says Roadcheck 2011 Reveals Truck Driver Fatigue Problem." It doesn't say we have a regulatory compliance problem; rather, this headline says in no uncertain terms we have a driver fatigue problem. We're back on the griddle again

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:23 PM | » Comments(0)

17 easy steps to 9.5 mpg

Henry Albert takes his fuel economy and his business very seriously -- but he's willing to share some of his secrets to success.

August 1, 2011

Owner-operator Henry Albert was at the Shell SuperRigs event in Kenly, N.C. in June, but he wasn't showing his truck in the conventional sense. He was walking anyone who was interested around his truck pointing out fuel-saving strategies he uses to achieve an average of 9 mpg

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, August 1, 2011 5:31 AM | » Comments(5)

What do we learn from Roadcheck?

July 22, 2011

With another Roadcheck event now some weeks behind us, a few questions linger about this annual ritual. What's Roadcheck all about, anyway? What do we learn from the exercise? And why are nearly one quarter of the truck brakes inspected still put out of service

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, July 22, 2011 2:41 AM | » Comments(0)

Saskatchewan to try out triple LCVs

July 2, 2011

As the debate over longer and heavier trucks simmers in this country, to our north, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is about to begin a pilot project that will see triple 53-foot trailers in turnpike configuration operated on limited routes

Tags: Vehicle Spec'ing

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:28 PM | » Comments(1)

Have an issue with cargo securement enforcement? It pays to participate

May 26, 2011

Each year, the Cargo Securement Subcommittee of Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance hosts two sessions of the North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:59 AM | » Comments(0)

Driver delays: somebody has to pay

May 18, 2011

The American Trucking Associations released a statement Wednesday saying it would not support regulating driver detention times as proposed in HR 756, a bill recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR.

Tags: Regulations

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, May 18, 2011 1:25 PM | » Comments(5)

Maybe the DOT <B>should</B> pay for naps

Humans are wired to spend nighttime hours sleeping. Napping isn&#39;t a substitute for sleep, but it can increase alertness and reduce the risk of  falling asleep spontaneously.

May 4, 2011

Ray LaHood should resign over his remarks regarding the recent spate of napping air traffic controllers. He has revealed himself to be so far behind current thinking on the value of naps in safety sensitive environments that his judgment can't be trusted

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7:14 AM | » Comments(3)

Maybe what we're waiting for is the iCar?

Imagine Valmet&#39;s Think City EV with a bite-out-of-the-apple logo on the door.

March 27, 2011

Electric cars are just now hitting the streets. A few of them anyway. They are by no means burning up Main Street. I think I know why. Electric cars look too much like every other car. Maybe we need an iCar

Tags: Trends

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Sunday, March 27, 2011 10:14 PM | » Comments(0)

Whoa! That was Close

March 18, 2011

Not really, but it sure felt that way. With electronic collision avoidance technology working along side a driver's good judgment, the potential for truck-into-car rear-end crashes could be greatly minimized. This technology will reduce crashes and prevent all sorts of calamity on our highways

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, March 18, 2011 2:16 PM | » Comments(0)

Silent Running

Under the right conditions, electric trucks will run up to 100 miles on a charge, or at least a day&#39;s driving in an urban stop &#39;n&#39; go duty cycle.

March 9, 2011

I had my first drive in an all-electric vehicle recently. I'm not sure, in the long run, if industry will accept this technology as an alternative to diesel-powered trucks, but plug-in trucks are certainly worth watching

Tags: Trends

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:39 PM | » Comments(0)

Trucking in Japan

February 14, 2011

Having returned from my first trip to Japan just over a week ago, I'm still marveling at the differences between North America and that geographically small island nation. From a trucking perspective, there is almost no comparison.

Tags: Trends

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, February 14, 2011 10:01 AM | » Comments(2)

How Much of a Rush Can You Be In?

February 11, 2011

Trucks and trains may at various times be competitors and partners in the supply chain, but when the two square off face-to-face at a level crossing, there's no doubt who will emerge victorious

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, February 11, 2011 1:46 PM | » Comments(0)

The 1,600-Mile Sandwich: an Ode to the Supply Chain

January 31, 2011

Consider for a moment the logistics of getting a packaged but fresh deli-sandwich from Eden Prairie, Minn, to a roadside gas bar in the middle of the Arizona desert that's not even on most maps. It's a logistics triumph

Tags: Lifestyle

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, January 31, 2011 7:30 AM | » Comments(0)

Life in the Very Slow Lane

-- YouTube screen capture

January 12, 2011

Hot on the heels of my most recent blog about the truck crash on the Pennsylvania rest area on-ramp, comes this tale of a fellow riding an electric wheelchair along the breakdown lane of I-95 in Connecticut

Tags: Heroes & Villains

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 8:53 AM | » Comments(0)

When Trucks Go Crash in the Night

The badly damaged trailer had to be dismantled before it could be removed from the scene. (Photo by ABC News27 WHTM)

January 6, 2011

It was a fairly minor crash, as these things go. Three trucks involved, no one seriously hurt. No motorists involved except those inconvenienced by the closing of the highway. The incident appears to be related to the twin evils of fatigued driving and the shortage of parking places

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, January 6, 2011 9:15 AM | » Comments(1)

And They Wonder Why We're Cynical

Truckers who work at night might as well kiss the 34-hour restart goodbye.

December 27, 2010

For all the fretting and hand-wringing, and for the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on listening sessions and research and fact finding, what we got from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Dec. 23 is a farce disguised as a proposed hours of service rule

Tags: Regulations

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, December 27, 2010 11:52 PM | » Comments(2)

Stuck in Third Gear

How many hours at the wheel does it take to tire out a trucker? (Photo by Jim Park)

November 29, 2010

In the final days or maybe hours until FMCSA's latest hours of service proposal is revealed, I'm more than a little taken aback by comments I'm hearing from some drivers. More than a few drivers think that an eight-hour driving day would be fine.

Tags: Regulations

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Monday, November 29, 2010 9:48 PM | » Comments(3)

The Morning After

Owner-operators could become an endangered species if the President gets his way

November 10, 2010

"The reason we've got an unparalleled standard of living in the history of the world is because we've got a free market that is dynamic and entrepreneurial, and that free market has to be nurtured and cultivated.

Tags: Business

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, November 10, 2010 10:31 PM | » Comments(4)

Mack's Best - Old and New

Tight clearance for trailers back in the 1950s meant drivers had to give up precious cab space to make room for extra cargo. (Photo by Jim Park)

October 28, 2010

Imagine the driver shortage we'd have today if trucks hadn't evolved from what we were running back in the '50s and '60s

Tags: Lifestyle

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:09 PM | » Comments(1)

Fuel Economy Regs: What's the Point?

October 26, 2010

Just curious here: What is it the EPA and NHTSA believe they can accomplish by regulating fuel efficiency standards that the market isn't already doing, or wouldn't do if the economic argument made sense

Tags: Regulations

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:34 PM | » Comments(0)

When Compliance Doesn't Equal Safety

October 15, 2010

Finally, a fatigue-related crash has come to the forefront that exposes the chasm that often exists between safety and compliance

Tags: Safety & Compliance

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Friday, October 15, 2010 10:19 AM | » Comments(2)

Proud and Alone, Cold as a Stone

October 6, 2010

It just doesn't pay to get involved anymore, but tell that to someone wired with the willingness-to-help gene

Tags: Lifestyle

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:09 PM | » Comments(0)

Taking an Old Friend for a Drive Around Town

Jim Herriot&#39;s 1975 Kenworth W900A does the St. Catharines, Ont. Grape &amp; Wine Festival Parade.

September 26, 2010

Who doesn't love a parade? Marching bands, clowns, crowds of people waving from the curb, dozens colorful floats ... Each September my home town of St. Catharines, Ontario, plays host to the Grape & Wine Festival, a celebration of the Niagara Region's wine-making industry

Tags: Lifestyle

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Sunday, September 26, 2010 10:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Engine Experience

Heavy Duty Trucking Senior Editor Tom Berg tries his hand at some hands-on tech training. (Photo by Jim Park)

September 16, 2010

I wouldn't trust my own mechanical aptitude any farther than fixing a flat tire or changing the oil on my motorcycle, but it's fun to preten

Author: Jim Park | Posted @ Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:28 PM | » Comments(0)

Author Bio

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

Truck journalist 13 years, commercial driver 20 years. Joined us in 2007. Specializes in technical/equipment material (including Tire Report), brings real-world perspective to test drives.

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